June 5, 2004

"speaking Aramaic without subtitles"

I liked this piece by Mark Roberts. But his idea is so far-out, most people will consider it to be something like science fiction. What if, maybe, maybe, Mr Tenet resigned for the same reason he said he was resigning for?

...Most politicians and pundits can’t relate to this because they put their careers first and their families second (or third, or fourth, or lower). These priorities are so deeply ingrained that they simply become a given. Thus when George Tenet claims to put fatherhood first, it’s as if he’s speaking Aramaic without subtitles. Most people just don’t get it.

Thus the resignation of George Tenet holds up a moral mirror, inviting us to examine our own values. How do we weigh family and work? What comes first in our lives? What comes first in our society? However we might answer this question for ourselves, we should know that the people of greatest influence in our society generally put family second (or lower), and they expect us to do the same...

It sounds very believable to me, being very much a family person. On the same subject, I recommend Karen Hughes' recent memoir, Ten Minutes from Normal. It's good reading, and it centers on her decision to move back to Texas, because her family was very unhappy in Washington.

This is wandering off the subject, but I just remembered it. One (of many) interesting things in the book about Bush is an example of how he tests people to see if they really believe what they are saying. (I've heard he does that, but hadn't read any examples.) On Hughes' first day as press secretary for Bush, who is running for Governor of Texas, she enters his office with a bunch of phone slips. And explains that they are questions from reporters that need to be answered. He immediately says "Don't answer them!"

She writes: "My whole life as a press secretary passed before my eyes." Summoning up all her courage, she delivers a passionate speech on the importance of being straight with reporters, and answering their calls the same day, and then eventually realizes he's pulling her leg. I found that very funny, "Don't answer them!"

Posted by John Weidner at June 5, 2004 9:50 PM
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